Is bathing, rinsing or wiping your dirty dog down every day too much?

Our question this week was:

Read your recent article on the subject and my problem is that I have a year old German shorthaired pointer and we go to the dog park almost daily. When we get home I usually rinse him down, occasionally just wipe him. But, he really frolics at the dog park, runs through large puddles, rolls in the grass, tumbles and plays with other dogs. So dog slobber is everywhere! I don't actually bathe him every time; just get the worst of it off, especially his webbed feet, which seem to pick up a bit of everything. Just want to be sure I am not overdoing it.

Alpha Mom

Answer

Hi Alpha Mom – thanks for your email. You wrote that you end up bathing your dog almost every day after going to the dog park and you wonder if you are over doing it.

It sounds like you usually rinse him down or wipe him off. A daily full bath is more than what most dogs need. So a bath mixed with rinsing or wiping him down is a very good plan. You can tell if his skin is getting too dry if you see seborrhea ("dandruff") or dry skin flakes. If his skin looks healthy – you are probably doing just fine and not over-doing it.

When you do bathe him – make sure you use a dog shampoo. The pH of their skin/hair is different and those formulated for dogs are less drying to them.

An article that might be helpful to you is Bathing Your Dog.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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